A better way forward with Teneo
In the last 5 years, however, technology has evolved. Plan International originally had a deployment of Riverbed’s SteelHead WAN Optimization technology across 161 sites internationally, which Teneo managed. But in locations like Vietnam, Egypt, India and Latin America, bandwidth is now much more affordable at £100 per month for 10Mbps.
“I knew that for many sites, we no longer needed to incur the full cost of WAN Optimization technology,” said Bhavin Patel, Head of IT Infrastructure. “As an international charity, keeping costs low is incredibly important to us.”
While the appliances were robust, Bhavin was reluctant to keep them running unsupported. So instead, for the last 3 years, he’s relied on Teneo’s support for Riverbed SteelHead, which delivers access to the Teneo Service Desk 24x7x365, proactive and predictive monitoring, an annual tune-up service, and hardware support. Plan International’s regional offices contribute to the funding of this service through their individual budgets.
One of Plan International’s strategic goals is to maximize income, and one of their strategic enablers is to ‘Think Digital’. This includes moving to tablets in the field and delivering better data, as well as providing a portal and mobile app to sponsors. For the sites with latency and heavy use of media, optimization is critical to support these initiatives.
This led the team to explore the option of SD-WAN combined with WAN Optimization. The incumbent Riverbed SteelHead solution had always featured at the top right of Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for WAN Optimization, however only a small number of features were required by Plan International. This drove them to seek a more cost-effective option, but one that would deliver maximum throughput.
A strategy was identified that would result in significant cost savings per month and saw the Plan International team transition to Aruba’s EdgeConnect SD-WAN Platform. This replaced Riverbed’s solution, like-for-like, which also resulted in a 65% saving.
VSAT sites were mandatory in the migration, and after 9 months, the team has rolled out to 21 sites. SD-WAN is being used at sites other than those with VSAT to optimize locations with dual connectivity for extra resilience.
Child data users, who deal with sensitive information relating to vulnerable children, and management staff producing large reports have seen the greatest benefits.